Variations On A Family

There is a piece of art that hangs in my bedroom.  It was created by my son Michael when he was just eight years old.  Most parents hang their children’s artwork in a place of special prominence in their home (usually the refrigerator door) where it is admired for a few weeks and then it is replaced by a new creation.  I felt this particular picture, however, required preservation for the longer-term.  You see, Michael created this work of art about a year after his father moved out of the family home.  To me it speaks volumes.  It says that my ex-husband and I handled our separation in a way that maintained our identity as a family unit.  Michael’s painting shows that even though we no longer live together, he still views us as all members of one family. 

Don and I have worked hard to maintain that family unit over the years.  Michael (or “Mike” as he prefers to be called these days) is now 20 years old.  This past Sunday Mike prepared a Father’s Day lunch for his Dad that we shared together on the deck at my home.  I realize it isn’t unusual nowadays for marriages to end and for children to have parents who live in different houses.   I think what is unusual is that Don and I are still a “team” when it comes to parenting our children.  It isn’t the “happily ever after” I had imagined but, as Don, Mike and I sat chatting together on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I realized that I am happy…and thankful.

The pizza Mike made for his Dad.

The pizza Mike made for his Dad

Mike and Don, Father's Day, June 19th, 2011

Mike and Don, Father's Day, June 19th, 2011

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